Suis-je perdre mon temps ?

Without a doubt, I love the sport of cycling. As a matter of fact, I am about to go riding in about an hour. Why did I wait so long and not ride when it was cooler this morning? The Tour, of course. Today was a beast of a stage, but . . .

As a sat though five hours of Tour, I began to wonder if I am just wasting my time. I mean, for the love of Pete, it is THE Tour. If you like cycling, it is your Superbowl or Gold Cup. Okay, so Nibali won a stage after he attacked Froome when he had a mechanical. Okay, Quitana waited patiently before attacking on the last climb to take back 30 seconds . . . yes, 30 seconds of time on Froome. Bless their heart, Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, Bob Roll, and Christian Vandevelde keep pushing the fact that we have a slug fest going on. Uh, wait. I am on the right channel?

The problem that I have is with team strategy. Movistar and Tinkoff Saxo act like they’re protecting Froome! Maybe I haven’t paid attention to it before, but since when does a team not fight for the Yellow? “They are concerned with not losing a podium position” has been said over and over. Maybe the teams just know that they cannot beat Froome. Two or three of the best climbers in the world are attacking him (which looks like a cluster because each one does the attacking without help from teammates), as if to say that it’s part of the job for me to attack, but I know I can’t do anything. Yawn. Many of you can remember the battles of yesteryear like the 1989 victory of Greg LeMond by eight seconds! Now, the main talk is about drugs and motors in the bicycles. As I have said before, professional cycling must do something . . . anything . . . it WILL die like “professional” body building.

Yes, I’ll keep watching. I love it too much. I have more of an interest now in the bikes, the components being used, helmets, shoes, and the like. I have my favorite riders. I’ll still gripe about decisions of coaches, just like any sports fan. I still have a dream of seeing the Tour in person, one day, but there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on. What’s missing? What is it going to take to bring the Tour back? Once Lance stabbed cycling in the heart for the American fan, it’s very quiet over here. A question that keeps popping up in my mind is where is the pain? It has been a while since I’ve seen riders collapsing at the line from exhaustion. Now, they’ll ride three Cat 1 hills and an HC, hope off the bike, get a drink, and do an interview. I know. I know. I’m all over the place with this, but . . . there’s something I just can’t nail down . . . anyway, I’m headed out to ride.


8 thoughts on “Suis-je perdre mon temps ?

  1. I think the big difference between the time of Lemond and now is the money. There is a lot more money in cycling now (with much of the thanks going to Lemond and, yes, Lance since they “brought” the sport to the wealthy American public), so much so that like any sport where there is a lot of $$$$, it has become a business. Part of becoming a business means that the approach to the sport is much more calculated and exact. What is lost is spontaneity and panache.

  2. I think I’ve been more engaged by this tour than I have been for a while although perhaps that is because of being off my own bike for a while and it being a welcome escape from other stuff, even if I only have time for the highlights show during the week, but you’re right it has changed and those of us who’ve followed the tour for a bit (was reminded for how long this week when discussing the rainy weather forecast in the alps with a cycling colleague when I said I remembered it snowing on the tour, to be reminded upon googling it that the last time that happened was in 96) do miss some of the battles of earlier times but there has still been much to admire in this year’s competition

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